Friday, September 4, 2009

SwissMoto 2009

February 24, 2009 - Tuesday

Last Saturday Florian and I went to the annual SwissMoto show in Oerlikon. It's staged in a huge building with seven halls, including a stuntbike arena on the fourthfloor. I'd hoped we could take the bikes in, but it was cold and patchily icy at 0830 hours when we left, so we ended up calling on the Bonnie's services again.I had half-price coupons, so we both got in for 20.-
We'd run into Roger and Fabian in the garage, so we checked out Hall 1 together with them. Hall 1, in the basement, showed the various brands and newest models.
BMW's attempt at a cross machine:

Honda had the largest display, as usual

with Harley Davidson in close second. My mechanic was there as well with the Ulysses "Green Buell" they use as their showpiece.

Florian and I checked the subframe spacers they used on the Ulysses and found it was a different set than what I got from Frank Parts. The ones on the Ulysses are
thicker and a perfect fit. Possibly custom made - I'm gonna ask about it next time I drop by. In Hall 5, where everything customized was located, a couple mechanics were tuning a 2008 XB12 which didn't have any subframe spacers at all, but rather seat frame struts that were already raised several degrees.
No matter - my subframe spacers are holding up well, and thought the spacer covers aren't a perfect fit, the cracks between the frame and the struts don't really bother me
because they swallow vibrations a bit better than full spacers like on the Green Buell would.
Anyhow, back to the SwissMoto. Stands and vendors offered things like powder-coated wheels, leatherworks and various technical improvements, as well as Ducati, Motor Morini and Husqvarna. There was live tattooing and airbrushing, oodles of options on where to go for a motorcycle vacation, and the occasional roar of an engine as an exhaust system seller showed off the sound of something on the edge of legal.
The leatherworks were awesome. This Husky was completely covered in blue crocodile leather.

(I briefly considered something similar for Silver, but if it were to happen - it would look lovely, no doubt about that - then only after Silver has taught me stoppies and donuts and taken all the damage it's likely to get. Not to mention the price would probably be half the bike's original cost all over again.) I do think I want to get the Beastie's seat done over in black leather with a lightning design, though. I took their card and will ask about it after I've thought it over for a while and gotten the airbrush and Termignoni mounted.
There were quite a few neat powder-coated wheels there. I'm stil trying to figure out what to do with the Beastie's. I wanted to get them chrome-edged, but Mom says it wouldn't look good on the blue. I'm not going to replace them with Silver's black wheels either, because there'll be a black overload on the bottom half then. Butsomething needs to be done to them because keeping them the way they came out of the factory bugs me. I'm now considering getting the spokes powder-coated in a sparkly black and the rims coated in a darker blue to match the airbrush - or vice versa (blue spokes and black rims). I rather liked the wheels on this bike:

Something customized, anyway. I already know a place that could to it for me... But this too needs to wait until the airbrush is repaired.

All in all, Florian and I spent about four hours there, half of which were taken up by Hall 5's custom works and the Indoor Stuntbike World Championship. (We didn't watch all of it; only the beginning with the five best drivers. This guy was wearing my

Florian met another electrician that he works with, and we briefly visited Hall 7 to glance at the slow and silent electric vehicles that were puttering around a little track up there. Segways and electric scooters and other such stuff for ecologically-minded city folks with deep pockets. (Ten grand for a standard Segway? Gimme a 450 ccm cross machine any day.)
When we left the exhibition after 1300 hours, the sun was shining like spring. We were both itching to get on two wheels after all that, so as soon as we got home we grabbed a bite to eat, pulled on motorcycle jackets and helmets and headed for Polo.
It was a beautiful day by then, doubly so because of all the unusable weather we'd had for the two preceding weeks. The drive to Polo wasn't near long enough, but after picking up plastic washers, a bottle of Loctite, some electrical connectors and two comic books, and not finding half of what we were looking for, we decided to head over the mountain to the Jumbo store in Affoltern a. A.
That was a nice drive, though the roads were wet all the way and we had to watch out for the last remaining patches of black ice.
Insert here: Driving with the steepened seat is great. The sitting position is more comfortable, I can sit straighter and the curves are automatically tighter and faster - though the roads are still too cold to do a real agility test. Friday afternoon Opa spontaneously gave me the afternoon off because it was his birthday and he wanted to go to Einsiedeln. I used the time to finally test the Beastie's drive feel with the new seat height (even though it was about 0°C and lightly snowing) and did a two-hour drive around the lake. So when I got to take it out again on Saturday with sunshine and slightly better roads, I noticed the improvement even better.
Back on topic. In Affoltern we got one little tool that I can't think of the name for (it melts little metal wires for electrical connections) and then headed on to Brunau-Park because we hadn't yet found any good material for patching the hole in the tank of the XR2.
In Brunau-Park we finally found everything we were looking for. A paste for filling holes in aluminum, a de-greaser and a couple other things which I've subsequently forgotten.
By time we reached home it was after five. Florian's Husky's clutch was acting up, so while he went to work of provisorily fixing it - again - I took the Beastie back down to Sood-Oberleimbach for a desperately needed wash. (My pressure washer doesn't work right in the cold, it seems.)
Sunday ended up being another gray, windy and snowy day - hopefully the last of this winter. I made of the best of it with another watercolor, loafing around the house in sweats (which I only do once in a blue moon because they look sloppy and make me feel such). Retta got out several times that day as well and we had a couple hours of fun in the fresh snow.
Florian and I didn't end up working on the XR as planned on Sunday, but at least we have all the material we need now.
Yesterday, Monday, brought warmer temperatures and clear(er) roads. I could
have taken the Beastie in to
work... But I didn't because after work I needed to swing by Nico's to fetch my
airbox cover. (Typical. For two weeks I
had to take the Bonnie, and as soon as I could have taken the bike I was stuck with the Bonnie after all for transporting a big box.)
I also called my airbrusher in the afternoon and she said that if I brought the parts over that evening I could pick them up on Saturday.
Awesome. I got my airbox cover back from Nico, paid him for his trouble, and he took me for a spin in his Dodge Caliber. That car is something to be proud of and then some. 295 PS standard (he's got the SRT4, of course) and his is scratching at 400 PS and has another upgrade coming next week. Nice.
I chatted with him for a bit before heading home. I got back at 1830 hours, together with Dad, grabbed a bite to eat, cleaned up some of the kitchen and imposed on Florian to pull the seat cover off Silver's seat and help me demount the front fender which needs to be done completely new because Silver's is ruined.
I showed up at Frau Mundwiler's at 2030 hours as agreed on with all the airbrush parts and my Shoei Hornet helmet. It was just a bit embarrassing, as that's the third time I was there, but it can't be helped. She offered me something to drink and we chatted so long it was nearing 2200 hours before I bade her good night and drove home again.
And this morning, I drove the Beastie into work for the first time in two weeks. It was about time.
Tomorrow I get to go to Opa's for lunch, on Thursday I'm taking the day off to go shopping with Mom in the city, on Friday I get to work at Opa's again and in the evening I need to head down to Pratteln to meet with the folks from United and discuss details of our Corsica trip. On Saturday the weather should be sunny and 10° (woot!) so I can pick up my airbrush stuff, mount it, go driving and in the evening I'll be able to babysit.
This week is going to be good.

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